Theft is every bikers worst nightmare and tragically, is still a huge problem, especially in big cities. As such, it is now essential to fork out for all manner of extra security devices to help protect your pride and joy. With so much choice, we’re going to go through the pros and cons of different security measures so you can opt for the most effective and avoid wasting money.



Of course we all have insurance cover, but many of us will have high excesses to keep premiums affordable. If your bike is stolen, there is a chance it will be recovered, but this can leave you even worse off as there maybe recovery and storage bills from the Police and a hefty repair bill. Never mind the hike in premiums for several years to come. For a cheap commute bike, theft cover is almost pointless as it would just be too uneconomical to claim.

Bike recovery figures have improved drastically over the last few years. The NCIS report from 2001 quoted a figure of just 16% of stolen bikes being recovered. A decade on and the figure is looking better at around about 45% across the EU. This is almost certainly due to advancements in GPS tracking technologies and smart identification systems.

Around 80% of motorcycle theft occurs at home, so it makes sense to install the strongest security measures there, for example an extra beefy chain, CCTV or a locked garage.

In this article I’m going to highlight a few of the most common attacks employed by motorcycle thieves, then go through all the main security devices on the market, comparing their effectiveness.



Secure marking

Secure marking is becoming increasingly popular, with a number of manufacturers tagging vehicles before they leave the factory. But if your bike is not already marked then the kits to uniquely identify your ride are readily available.

The Alpha Dot, which can effectively be painted on, is a popular choice. By marking your bike it will be much easier for the police to track it down. It will also help the police to convict people dealing in stolen motorcycle parts.

Alternatively you could use a UV marker to mark your motorcycle with its VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Marking all the parts on the bike will make it very difficult for them to be sold on and increase the chances of getting your bike back to you.

Lock and Chain

As well as these more hi-tech solutions there is of course the trusty old lock and chain. How much you spend here will determine how sturdy the chain is, but as with bicycle chains there are plenty to choose from. A decent chain is worth the investment, whilst bikes may be more difficult to steal than they have been in the past, locking up your ride is still essential. Make sure you lock your bike to a secure unit; some thieves will just lift the bike into a van if it is not locked to the ground.

Alarm and immobiliser

A chain might help put some thieves off but an alarm and immobiliser are also sound investments. Having a trained technician fit this for you is worth considering to ensure that the complex electronics do not respond badly. Thatcham-approved category one and two alarm and immobiliser systems are both going to bring your premium down with the majority of insurers.

Garages

Better still you can store your bike in a safe place like a lock-up or garage. Make sure the garage is locked and alarmed.